While Bill Paxton appeared to active, healthy and busier than ever, prepping for new movie roles and starring in the new CBS cop drama “Training Day,” the affable 61-year-old actor was apparently dealing with some kind of heart problem that required surgery.
His family revealed Sunday that the co-star of 1990s movie blockbusters and of the acclaimed HBO series “Big Love,” died Saturday of complications of that surgery. It hasn’t been revealed what kind of condition the “Twister” and “Aliens” actor was dealing with or what kind of surgery he faced
But he was nervous about his upcoming “ordeal,” as he revealed to Doug Liman, his director from the 2014 sci-fi thriller “Edge of Tomorrow.”
Still, Liman told the New York Daily News, Paxton was “optimistic” and looked forward to upcoming projects, including making an “Edge of Tomorrow” sequel with Liman. He was also set to appear with his “Apollo 13” co-star Tom Hanks in “The Circle” an upcoming film adaptation of the Dave Eggers novel.
Liman said Paxton sent him an email on Jan. 29, thanking him for his good wishes on his surgery. “It will help me face this ordeal.”
In an interview on Marc Maron’s “WTF” podcast, which dropped earlier this month, Paxton explained that he had suffered from rheumatic fever as a 7th grader growing up in Fort Worth, Texas and acknowledged that the illness had caused heart damage.
According to the Mayo Clinic, rheumatic fever is an inflammatory disease that can develop as a complication of inadequately treated strep throat or scarlet fever, both of which, in turn, are caused by an infection with streptococcus bacteria. Rheumatic fever is most common in children, ages 5 to 15, and it can cause permanent damage to the heart, including damaged heart valves and heart failure.
Paxton described how the illness came on mysteriously and suddenly when he was a happy, outgoing suburban 13-year-old in the late 1960s, “chasing…